A Healthy Dog
Healthy dog care is every owners responsibly. When it comes to nutrition, vaccinations, regular grooming, exercise, training, or loving, your dog IT IS YOUR responsibility. Breeders can help steer you in the right direction, and they provide a solid base of health care but they can't do it for you. Most anything that develops (with the exception of some disease) after you get the puppy is based on your care so take care of your dog.
This page gives some basics on what we consider healthy dog care. It is not intended to replace your veterinarian, but to give you a feeling on what we feel the minimum care to be.
Food and water are the two most elementary items in any living animal's life. Without both, it will die. From food, your dog will receive the necessary energy and nutrients to grow, maintain a healthy and active life and to fight infections. From water, your dog will get the molecule that allows the body to pass its wastes through the kidneys (besides being over 70% of the body's composition). It is very important to understand there is a fine balance in both the quantity and quality of the food and nutrients consumed. Both under-nutrition and over-nutrition can adversely effect your dogs growth and maintained life, and it will impact the adult dog's ultimate health and well being both mentally and physically.
Genetics and Heredity
Common advice is "go to a breeder with a proven record and good reputation. What is a "good reputation"??? It is our opinion, a good reputation involves honesty and integrity, in health, body structure and temperament. These come from solid foundation in bloodlines, and the firm understanding of GENETICS.
There are many problems out there to which Breeders need to pay attention. Many inheritable diseases which can be minimized by planned breeding of animals which have been tested and evaluated for those known conditions. The underlying genetics needs to be understood and considered. As an owner, you must educate yourself on the various conditions which can effect your choice of breed. I believe that good dogs are not just luck, that they are a planned program of genetics, health, and environment.
We are lucky that we live in a generation where some devastating diseases can easily be prevented by proper vaccinations. Diseases such as Parvo, Distemper, Rabies, and Hepatitis - which have an extreme mortality rate (almost always fatal in the case of Rabies) - can be prevented by periodic vaccinations and boosters to your dog. Some of the diseases (specifically Rabies) can cross species, are dangerous and can infect humans.
As with all vaccinations, consult with your vet to determine what they feel is correct for your dog in your area. Recently, leading Veterinary Medicine Teaching Universities have come out with new and updated guidelines for vaccination schedules, intended to be a guideline between necessary immune protection and the potential for adverse affects from over vaccination. Colorado State University has put forth a very good effort at balancing this line and both you and your vet should take some time to inform yourselves on its content.
Other commonly vaccinated diseases are Parvo virus, Distemper, Canine Hepatitis, Adenovirus, Corona, Lyme's Disease and Kennel Cough. There currently is no vaccine for Canine Brucellosis or Canine Herpes. Vaccines are not effective or available for heart worms, or other intestinal parasites. These must be prevented and or treated by medications.
The whole pet world is becoming very political, everything seems to be about the money and not about the pets. Veterinarians, drug companies, even rescue and humane organizations that are supposed to protect pets are becoming profit hungry. This is the new thing, some are pushed into it by the large pet chains they work for others are just jumping on the bandwagon. Either way over vaccinating can be harmful to your pets.